The largest collection of rarest plants is found on the island of Socotra, located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Yemen. Socotra is home to approximately 800 species of plants, and over 33% of them are thought to be unique to the island and not found anywhere else in the world. The island’s collection of rare plants is generally not seen by many tourists because the island belongs to Yemen, which has very strict regulations regarding tourists. In 2008, Socotra was named as a Natural World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which recognizes natural geographical phenomenon.
More about the plants of Socotra:
- The Socotra fig tree Dorstenia gigas is thought to not require soil to grow and samples have even been found to grow against limestone rock.
- Some of the plant species native to Socotra are thought to date back over 20 million years.
- The island’s Dragon Blood Tree was named by traders who thought the plant’s red sap was actually the blood of the dragon.